DOI: 10.1002/ps.7946 ISSN: 1526-498X

Antimicrobial mechanisms of g‐C3N4@ZnO against oomycetes Phytophthora capsici: From its metabolism, membrane structures and growth

Lin Cai, Xunliang Huang, Hui Feng, Guangjin Fan, Xianchao Sun
  • Insect Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • General Medicine



Phytophthora capsici (P. capsici), a refractory and model oomycete plant pathogen, especially threatens multiple vegetable crops. A limited number of chemical pesticides play a vital role in controlling oomycete plant diseases. However, this approach often leads to excessive use of chemical agent, exacerbates environmental issues and more and more drug‐resistant strains of oomycete. Therefore, it is imperative to devise innovative solutions that can effectively address the infection of oomycete while maintaining high levels of environmental sustainability and low toxicity.


In this study, g‐C3N4@ZnO heterostructure was synthesized and characterized. g‐C3N4@ZnO showed higher toxicity on P. capsici than g‐C3N4 nanosheets and ZnO nanoparticles in vitro and in vivo. Except the hyphal growth of P. capsici, their germination rate of spores, sporangium formation and number of spores were all suppressed by g‐C3N4@ZnO heterostructure. Furtherly, we found that this g‐C3N4@ZnO heterostructure has higher photocatalytic activity under visible light, which potentially enhanced the reactive oxygen species (ROS) mediated stress on P. capsici. Ultrastructural morphology, global changes of gene expression and weighted gene co‐expression network analysis all supported that the anti‐oomycete activity of g‐C3N4@ZnO was manifested in the destruction of membrane system and inhibition of multiple metabolisms of P. capsici under visible irradiation, which also could be attributed to the ROS and Zn2+ mediated stress.


This works offers a novel oomycete disease management strategy by using g‐C3N4@ZnO, which were attributed to the ROS stress, destruction of membrane system and inhibition of multiple metabolisms.

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